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Isn't it extremely frustrating to see your dog suffering from ear pain or irritation. My dog has fluffy ear canals and from time to time suffers from ear irritation. This persistent irritation can indicate a foreign body in the ear canal or an ear infection.
Ear infection in dogs seems to be one the most common recurring dog health issues. It occurs and in some breeds more than others. Dogs with long ears tend to suffer as they have a large surface are to capture little bits and pieces.
My dog's fluffy ear canals tend to collect a lot of sand from the beach and the sand has a hard time getting out.
Types of Infection
As with humans, dogs have 3 parts to their ears; outer ear, middle ear and inner ear.
Outer ear infection is perhaps the easiest to see and deal with. Outer ear infection is usually detected by a waxy discharge with a bad odor and inflammation around in the outer ear and, of course, your dog being very uncomfortable.
If you suspect a middle or inner ear infection, don't try to clean your dogs ears, take your dog to the vet.
Cause of infection
There are a number of causes for an ear in ear infection in your dog. These include:
- Fungal infection
- Ear mites
- Bacterial infection
- Yeast infection
- Unclean or build up in ears
- Swimmers ear
- Collar irritation
- Other underlying health issue
Is the infection more than just your dog’s ears?
Often, when your dog’s ears are sore we need to look at our dog's overall health. Ear infections can develop as a result of our dogs overall health rather than just an irritant.
An article in Whole Dog Journal has Holistic veterinarian Stacey Hershman saying “Ear infections are a symptom of a larger problem,” she says. “You don’t want to just treat the ear and ignore the rest of the body. You want to treat the whole patient.”
Dogs can get ears mites, generally if they have been in contact with kittens or other infected pets. Ear mites are usually treated with pesticides from your vet or health care professional.
Dogs with big ears or fluffy ear canals, active dogs, swimming dogs, bush dogs, beach dogs – all are at risk of getting foreign material stuck in their ears. The build up may cause irritation. This is the most appropriate irritation to treat with cleaning the ear canal before an infection gets hold.
Just like we do, dogs can suffer allergic reactions. A dog's immune system will react to certain substances like, pollen, foods, seeds, mold, mites and fleas. Your dog will generally have itchy ears, red skin, runny eyes and nose, and even diarrhea and vomiting in some cases. Try to remove what is causing the reaction to your dog.
Some dogs suffer from ear infection due to the moist ear canal that creates an environment prone to infection. Common in long floppy ears that trap in the water and do not allow the ear canal to dry out.
Collars and Harnesses
Collars may be causing irritation to your dog’s ears. As your dog is walking or pulling on his collar, it can tighten around your dog’s neck and ears causing irritation. To avoid any infection or irritation from collars, use a harness when waking you dog.
Various hormones can result in skin and ear problems. For example thyroid and sex hormones influence the health of your dogs skin and ears.
Conventional Treatment for ear infection in dogs
Taking your dog the vet for treatment is always a good idea. It is often hard for us to know why our dog is unwell or in pain. If you vet diagnoses your dog with ear infection, the conventional treatment may be:
- Ear flush
There is often a resistance by some dog owners to give their dogs harsh treatments like antibiotics and steroids because of potential long-term affects on your dog's overall health.
Home remedies for ear infection in dogs
There are times when you cannot get to a vet. If you live in the country you may not even have access to a vet. Here are some home remedies for ear infections in dogs
It is normal for your dog to have earwax and attempting to clean it out continuously will only cause problems for your dog.
In saying this, there are times when you may need to clean your dogs ears and hopefully this is enough to remove the irritation caused by a build up of sand, hair or dirt.
Repeated cleaning is not recommended as it may further irritate your dog’s ear. It also interrupts the normal cleaning process that dogs have to clean their ears. Having moist ears from flushing may cause additional irritation and ear infection into your dog's ears.
Use either an ear cleaning solution or a solution of 50% Vinegar and 50% Water and fill the ear canal. This can be done with a spray bottle or syringe. Fold the earflap down and gently massage the solution into the ears to loosen any gunk. Once you stop, it is likely that your dog will shake his head quite vigorously. This action will eject any material that has been loosened in the ear canal and you will be able to wipe it away with cotton balls.
According to Home Remedy Shop ear infection in dogs can be treated naturally with the following:
1. Macerated Garlic
In case of mild infection, this remedy can be used. Steep 2 garlic cloves in olive oil. Let the mixture sit for 2 weeks. Then, strain it. Pour 2-3 drops of the mixture in the pet’s ear. Use it on daily basis until the infection heals fully.
2. Warm Compress
Apply warm compress to cure the outer ear infection. It effectively treats the associated symptoms like redness, pain, inflammation and irritation of the ear. Soak a towel in hot water. Squeeze the excess water. Hold and press gently on dog’s ear. Employ this remedy several times a day for the best results.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar must be diluted to use in pet's ears! Use one part apple cider and one part water.
Add 2 tablespoons of ACV (apple cider vinegar) to a cup of water. Use a spray bottle or syringe. Give it to your dog at least 2 times a week. You can also cleanse the ears with this solution. ACV does not let the ear infection aggravate.
4. Vitamin E Oil or Cod Liver Oil
Use cod liver oil or Vitamin E oil to get rid of inner and middle ear infection of the dog. Crush a Vitamin E capsule and use the oil as the ear drop. Alternatively, put 1-2 drops of cod liver oil in the affected ear.
5. Margosa Oil
The antimicrobial properties of margosa are commonly used to cure dog’s ear infection. You can prepare herbal ear cleaner by mixing ½ teaspoon eucalyptus oil, 1 teaspoon tea tree oil, ½ oz olive oil and 1 oz margosa oil. Put 10-20 drops of this ear cleaner into the affected ear of dog, with the help of a dropper. Massage the ear’s base gently to spread the oil. This remedy will soothe the inflammation and provide relief.
6. Witch Hazel
Combine equal quantities of organic apple cider vinegar and witch hazel. Pour a few drops of this solution in dog’s ear with a dropper. It will decrease the discomfort that your pet is experiencing.
7. Aloe Vera Gel
Warm some aloe vera gel. Pour 1 teaspoon of it in each ear of the dog. This will help cure redness or irritation in the ear.
8. Almond Oil
Warm some almond oil and put ½ teaspoon of this oil in each ear. This remedy is very useful in loosening the wax and dirt, thereby reducing the risk of infection.
9. White Vinegar
Combine water and vinegar. The quantity of the vinegar in the mixture should be enough to dry out the excess water; otherwise, the left over water will lead to irritation. While pouring the mixture in dog’s ear, ensure that it (the mix) is at room temperature, as the cool mixture will cause more pain.
10. Probiotic Yogurt
Apply a small amount of organic probiotic yogurt (it must have active strains of probiotic bacteria) to the ear. Rub well. This is the best natural remedy to ward off yeast infections.
Mullein extract is obtained from the twigs and leaves of the mullein plant. It soothes the inflammation of the ear, and is very effective in treating certain types of ear infection. Or else, mix together garlic oil and mullein oil. Put a few drops of this oil mixture in pet’s ear, 1-2 times a day.
12. Pau d’arco
Combine equal parts of mineral oil and pau d’arco. Massage the ear with this oil twice or thrice a day. This herb called pau d’arco acts as an antibiotic and kills the infection-causing bacteria and fungi.
13. Herbal Flea Powder
Mites or flea may also be the responsible for ear infection in dogs. After a bath, sprinkle herbal flea powder that contains pennyroyal powder, eucalyptus, rue, wormwood, and rosemary, on the dog’s body. It will remove the mites clinging to the pet and provides respite from the symptoms related to ear infection.
Chronic Ear Infection
Don’t let your dog suffer with ear infection. It becomes harder to treat and may lead to permanent damage.
For the best advice on your dog's health and any ear concerns, take you dog to a vet as there may be other related health concerns that need to be treated.
Dog Ear Treatment
Zymox Otic solution is a highly recommended solution for treating ear infection in dogs. Always a good additional to the doggy first aid kit.
- For treating inflammation of the external ear caused by bacterial, viral, and yeast infections
- Contains no antibiotics
- Destroys antibiotic-resistant organisms
- Easy to use
- 1.25-ounce bottle
Doggy First Aid Kit
If your dog encounters a situation where they become injured whether you are at home, on the road, hiking or out for a walk be prepared with a Doggy First Aid Kit. Designed to help you assist your pet when injured by properly caring for the injury and reducing their suffering until you can get to your veterinarian.
Having a dog first aid kit is extremely helpful and highly recommended to ensure your. This kit organizes supplies and provides instructions into clear vinyl pockets for easy access. The useful zipper extenders allow you to open the kit while wearing gloves or trying to attend to your dog.
The manual provides easy to follow instructions on how to properly care for your dog when it is injured. The manual covers checking vital signs, choking, bleeding and wound care, broken bones, poisoning, burns and more.
The contents include:
You can now buy this kit in sets or 1, 2 or 3. This allows you to have a kit in the house, the car and in your hiking or camping kit. Don't let you pet's injuries go untreated and get worse without special care.